In this article we are going to talk about antivirus and more specifically the Windows Defender antivirus that is part of Windows 10. We will show you how to scan your computer with it, how to actually check if it’s working right and all little option that are possible with this antivirus. So if you don’t have any protection, if you haven’t added anything to Windows 10 on the antivirus, you have a basic protection. We say basic, because it’s okay protection, but there are always better protections and that we have to say if you are working with your computer, if you are using it every day, sharing a lot of files, receiving tons of email, it’s not a bad idea to actually get something a little more interesting like maybe Nod32, which is one of our favorite antivirus. But in most cases the free antivirus can be more than enough.
So to see how it works what you can do is going to the bottom left in the Search and you can just type Defender and you will see Windows Defender show up here desktop app.
And when you click there you will have pop up in your screen.
So Windows Defender is a malware and spyware and a virus scanner. It has a real-time scan, so for example if you were downloading a file that infected, it will probably detect it. Defender also has a specific type of scan that you can do. So if you want to scan your computer you’ve got on a main screen the options for quick, full or custom scan. What’s the difference?
Quick is the antivirus scan that checks just specific spots in your computer (Program Files, some of the different folders where viruses are known to exist) and it doesn’t check everything. If you don’t suspect your computer is infected you might want to do a quick can and it might be enough.
But if for some reason you see Defender telling you that viruses are on your computer you should use a full scan. The difference is enormous. A quick scan can take 15-20 minutes, a full scan can take hours if you have a lot of files, so be warned.
Custom scan is specific. You can scan a specific part of your computer and it’s going to ask you when you click where and what you want to scan. So, for example, say you’ve downloaded tons of files in the download folder and you want to just make sure that everything is okay, you would click Custom, you would click Scan now and you would go into the C drive and simple click on the folders that you want to check, so for example it could be Users>Username>Downloads. And it’s going to scan only the download folder and nothing else.
Sometimes the antivirus might want to scan your computer automatically. Look at here the bottom left that the last scan was today at 11:20 AM. Windows Defender has an autonomous side, which can actually scan your computer if you live it and gone in like an hour or two, it might actually scan without even you knowing it.
Of course you can check Update where it’s going to show you if you have the latest updates and when it updated last time. Updates to the Windows Defender can happen actually several times a day. We’ve seen Windows Defender updates up to 4 or 5 times a day. So you won’t be surprise about it.
Also, you have a History. History is interesting because for example as a tech guy, what I would often do if people always use this antivirus is going to the history and then I’ll check all detected items and click View Details. Now you see our list is empty, but if a client or someone wants to verify if your computer has been infected, you can check this list and you will have a full information of all the malware that were detected on your computer. And this is a very interesting part so why not check it out.
Of course on the upper right you have Settings and it’s simply a security settings, where you have a real-time protection, cloud-base protection, sample submission and you’ve got exclusions. You have also all the information about the antimalware client version, engine version and some on.
Real-time protection is a really good resident shield. All you do, all you touch, all you click is scanned in real time.
Cloud-based protection is the part where if you use for example One drive or Google Drive, it will check if your cloud storage is uninfected and so on.
Sample submission is always interesting. This is simply if your computer infected with something it might suspect as a malware or not, it might send a sample of that file to Microsoft. And reason why it does that is because it might want to check that to make sure that it’s not a virus if Defender is not sure. Because the way antivirus works basically is by detecting signatures. Signature is simply detecting form of code that looks like a virus. So sometimes your computer can be infected by virus that constructed with some new algorithm and that type of virus cannot be found in the list.
And there is Exclusions. Exclusions will not be used very often but there could be cases. For example, people would pirated soft where might do some exclusions because some of the pirated software might have a key logger or more of the kind of small soft that gives valid keys to activate software. And these are not necessarily viruses or malware, but the antivirus will often put those in a category of viruses and so you might use exclusion for that.
So that’s a quick tour of the Windows Defender and as for viruses when you are infected usually Windows Defender will give you different options: quarantine or fix a problem, or clean the file or delete and so you can choose any of these options.
Quarantine means is putting virus in kind of jail where it gets stuck there. The reason why you might want to choose quarantine over delete is the fact that sometimes the virus can infect a good file. For example, for a long time that was a virus that infected the Internet Explorer main file. You can’t remove it, because it will break Windows and so you have to find a way to solve this problem.
Windows Defender is not the best antivirus, but it’s also not so bad. For probably most people that are careful what they do on the Web it is a good antivirus. Like we said, if you use your computer as a main work computer like we do, if you exchange a lot of files it might be a good idea to purchase antivirus. Wherever you choose it’s probably fine. The one that we’d like is Nod32, the one we don’t like is McAfee. So this is what we think. If you have any questions you are free to ask. It’s always fun to have your feedback and we are here for that.